Canada could be in for some significant changes come 2021. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced on Monday that a single-use plastic ban in Canada is set to come into effect. Items such as straws, bags, and cutlery could be banned nationwide as early as 2021. According to CBC, Trudeau announced the ambitious new initiative while visiting the Gault Nature Reserve in Mont St-Hilaire, Quebec on Monday.
The federal government has yet to release a full list of the items that will be banned. However, a government source informed CBC that the items would include things like plastic fast-food containers, plates, balloons, cotton swabs, drink stirrers, and cups. Trudeau stated that his government is currently researching which items should be banned while confirming that Canada would follow the model laid out by the European Union.
Trudeau also announced on Monday that he plans to ensure companies that manufacture plastic products or sell them will be held responsible for their plastic waste.
According to the Ottawa Citizen, Monday’s announcement marks the first step to initiating a nationwide ban of single-use plastics in Canada. U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May announced last year ahead of the G-7 summit that her government would be placing a nationwide ban on plastic straws, cotton swabs, and other one-off items to eliminate unnecessary plastic waste by 2042.
The banned items will be selected to help gradually reduce plastic pollution with the hopes of hitting the new targets and metrics that the government has set. According to Environment and Climate Change Canada, Canadians throw away over 34 million plastic bags every day.
Trudeau’s government launched a new Ocean Plastics Charter during the G7 summit in Quebec back in 2018. 21 countries and 63 companies signed the document with the goal of reducing plastic pollution.
Last year, Canadians said goodbye to products containing microplastics, with the exception of natural health products and over-the-counter drugs, as the items were officially banned in Canada on July 1st, 2018. Minster of Environment and Climate Change, Catherine Mckenna, announced the news back in 2018.